Google to block political advertisements ahead of elections

By
February 8, 2019 06:15
1 minute read.
An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018

An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018.. (photo credit: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN)

 
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Google announced on Thursday that the company will not be executing personal advertising until after the April 9 elections, meaning anyone engaged in political advertising will be blocked from advertising to segmented audiences, redirecting and using listed names.

Google's advertising systems currently allow advertisements to target demographics by age, gender, area of residence, income, and psychographic data, the latter of which includes much more personal information such as values, interests and personality traits.

In addition, the system allows parties to upload their supporters' information as a list, which would allow Google to monitor and keep track of the supporters' surfing.

However, these possibilities have now been blocked for all political candidates in the upcoming elections. There are nevertheless different means for candidates to keep tally of their following and to advertise accordingly.

Polls and quizzes are a common method of asking the public directly what their political lineations are. Another option would be to upload their advertisements to YouTube. Facebook, on the other hand, is a more complicated platform.


Facebook, which was heavily criticized during the last US elections, announced that they would be launching new monitoring systems for political advertisements in March.

Although the platform will still be allowing political advertising, it will make the process completely transparent to the public, displaying the price of each advertisement and who the target audiences are — features that were, until now, available only to the advertiser.

Facebook, users report, has been piling up advertisement upon advertisement of different political parties. Although they are transparent regarding the tools of targeted advertising, Facebook claims of transparency are not fully manifested, as they do not show all advertisements from all parts of the political spectrum participating in the coming elections.

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